Saving Profusion Zinnia seed

northforkerOctober 23, 2006

Does anyone know if profusion zinnia (small flowers,low, creeping and "profuse"!) is a hybrid? I've heard that saving seeds from hybrids doesn't work as the "babies" won't match the mother plant. I have discovered tons of ripe seed on my 2 cherry profusions this weekend and have plucked it and have it out on paper plates to dry, but I am wondering if the off-spring will be the same or different. The seed looks nice and ripe and is drying nicely. I am new to this seed saving thing and would just love not to have to buy this seed again next year!

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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

I did the same this weekend, I have lots of seeds. I have seen these seeds for sale so I assume they will grow true if not cross pollinated (do you have other zinnias growing nearby?)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:09PM
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I do have some taller zinnia about 10 ft away.... I guess I'lll just try them and see what comes up!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 11:59PM
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I've been growing Profusion zinnias from seed saved from the mix (cherry, white, and orange) for several years now. I use them for a low border and they tend to be the only zinnias I've grown, so I haven't had a problem with cross pollination. The ones I grow now look to me just like the originals I grew from purchased seeds, same habit and same colors. I don't know that this would work for all hybrids (are we sure Profusion is a hybrid or just a named selection), but it does seem to work for Profusion.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 1:01AM
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maineman(z5a ME)


I heard that Profusion originated as an intergeneric hybrid, but apparently it has been stabilized as an open pollinated variety for commercial distribution.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 12:33AM
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Oh good - - I really like the way zinia profusion fills the low spaces in front of my garden and now I am feeling confident that the seeds will "work". How exciting that I do not have to order them!

Thanks to everyone for your helpful input!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 9:53PM
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fairytalel(TX 9a)

I would love some profusion seeds I have tall red, orange, yellow etc zinnia seeds to trade and many other seeds.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 8:48PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


As a correction to my response on Oct 25, 06 at 0:33, I see that current seed catalogs list Profusion as an F1 hybrid. That's not to say that you can't save seeds from them, but the results may not come true. I plan to do just that to see what the results will look like.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 1:38AM
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I am not familiar with all of the garden expressions - but does F1hybrid mean that there's a possibility that the seeds I have harvested from my catalogue-bought profusions will possibly grow like the original profusions in a low mound but also may come out taller than usual? with less flowers per mound? Also, how is color affected with hybrid? Would my harvested profusion orange still be orange? more faded? (see I really don't
know much about this, as you can see..LOL) But with the help of everyone out there, I sure am learning!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 8:45AM
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Carrie, I believe F1 stands for "1st filial" (filial=child) which indicates that the seed is the first child generation from crossing two different parents (think son or daughter rather than great great grandchild). In theory, you might get any kind/color/height from the seed you saved from an F1 hybrid because you have no way of knowing what the parents looked like. And that's if the only kinds of zinnias around were the Profusions you planted... because another kind or color of zinnia might actually be one parent of the seed you harvested from your Profusion flower (a bee-made hybrid).

However, in reality, I've been saving and growing seeds from my white/cherry red/orange Profusion mix for the last few years and I always get white, cherry, and orange flowers on zinnias that are low and floriforous like the originals. Of course, I don't generally grow other zinnias, so both parents of the seed I harvest are likely to be Profusion descendants. It's worth a try to see what results you get. BTW: you can't generalize this concept to other types of plants or other zinnias necessarily because it all depends....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Just noticed a wonderful response to my question -

I hope you get this thanks, bitterwort


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:10PM
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Glad you liked it. Thanks, Carrie!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 12:56AM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Hi all,

I have been doing a bit of research about Profusion zinnias, because I plan to grow some this year, and even try to make some crosses with them. My previous messages about Profusions were, uh, "uninformed". That's nice talk for "wrong".

The new Profusion series are tetraploids of interspecies crosses of Z. angustifolia with Z. violacea (formerly known as Z. elegans). They are produced by the Sakata Seed company. The Pinwheel series from W. Atlee Burpee Company was introduced before the Profusions, and they arose from the same sort of interspecies crosses followed by doubling their chromosomes to produce a true-breeding new species. That new species has been named Zinnia marylandica, in honor of the University of Maryland, where a lot of the original research leading up to the successful crosses was done.

Both the Pinwheels and the Profusions come true from seed because of their tetraploidy, and both are considered to be members of the new species named Zinnia marylandica. At the very minimum I plan to cross different colors of Profusions with each other, and different colors of Pinwheels with each other. And I also plan to attempt crosses of Pinwheels with Profusions. And maybe some other experimental crosses as well. Let the fun begin.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 2:39PM
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I have read that Profusion zinnias produce no nectar so they are not good butterfly plants (or other pollinators)
Can anyone tell me which zinnias are good for butterflies??
Where can I find information on the amount of nectar flowers produce?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:02PM
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I don't know whether Profusions have nectar or not, but most "regular" zinnias have a lot of nectar.

"Where can I find information on the amount of nectar flowers produce?"

The Internet is a vast source of information and, unfortunately, misinformation as well. You could try a google search. A more direct approach would be to find which flowers attract butterflies the best. Books and articles on butterfly gardens could help.

I grow zinnias as a hobby, and they attract a lot of butterflies for their nectar, and hummingbirds as well. The various bees show up to gather the zinnia pollen.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:23AM
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